Interview by Shannon Lawlor
Nicolaas van Reenen aka Fever Trails is a multi-instrumentalist and producer hailing from Cape Town, South Africa. Former guitarist for indie-post-rock band Bateleur, and guest for South African electronic hip-hop artist Spoek Mathambo, Fever Trails has graced stages and speakers with van Reenen’s own eclectic blend of electro-pop. Occasionally joined on stage by a rotating cast of friends and musicians, Fever Trails’ ability to hypnotize and enthrall, with or without extra hands is clearly plain to see.
Releasing music via international labels such as Activia Benz & Secret Songs, Fever Trails’ latest EP titled Wax Bridge was released via Cape Town’s own Quit Safari.
Fever Trails is set to perform at Cape Town’s picturesque Endless Daze festival on November 3-5, surrounded by lush scenery and it’s inevitable power to impress.
We caught up with Nicolaas van Reenen of Fever Trails on the past, present and future:
Could you give us some background on how Fever Trails was initially formed?
It’s just me actually. I’m not exactly sure where Fever Trails started. I’ve been producing my own music for as long as I’ve had computers in my life – I think Fever Trails sort of came about a few years into being involved with Bateleur, and was looking for some other outlet.
Fever Trails latest offering Wax Bridge EP, was released in September 2016 via Cape Town-based label Quit Safari. Could you tell us about the recording process, and how it may have differed from previous sessions?
I didn’t actually sit down with the intent to write an EP – I guess as a producer you’re just always making stuff, and at some point I looked back at what I’d done over a couple months and just picked the tracks I felt most excited about for the record.
Being a multi-instrumentalist, what do you feel is essential to a typical Fever Trails performance as opposed to hearing it on record?
I’ve played with many iterations of my live performance and varying degrees of instrumental involvement. I’ve now come to a point where I’ve realised that less is more, especially if you’re one person. Right now my rig consists of a Push 2, an APC40 and a Microkorg.
On November 3rd, Fever Trails are set to perform at Endless Daze Festival located in South Africa. What are you most looking forward to about this experience?
The festival last year was definitely one of my favourite local music fest experiences thus far. The curation and setting are totally unique and I guess I’m looking forward to seeing what the folks cooked up for us this year.
If Fever Trails could single handedly-change the music industry, how would you do it?
Tell us about Fever Trails performing live on Boiler Room – how did this come about, and how did you find the experience?
They asked me to do it, and I did. It was rad.
What does the future hold for Fever Trails?
This will actually be my last show as Fever Trails. I’m putting the electronic toys away for a bit and focusing my attention on a new project which I’ll be launching next year.
Fever Trails will be performing live at Endless Daze festival in Cape Town, South Africa, 3 – 5 November
For more information follow Fever Trails on Facebook